Due to a desire for 100 percent attendance at Recreation Services’ events in recent months, it will host Augustana’s first Hunger Games next month, according to director Mark Hecht.
“Several major studies have found that violent, mandatory competitions are the most direct way to boost our numbers,” Hecht, who blames the general disinterest on college students’ obsession with technology, said.
The idea was initially conceived with the release of Hunger Games: Catching Fire in November of last year, Hecht said. In return for a free pass from the reaping, Elmen student employees put together a presentation that they brought before president Rob Oliver. Though Hecht said they expected to wait a few months for faculty and the board to vote on the issue, Oliver exercised his presidential power to approve it immediately.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Oliver said. “We all need to be reminded how good we have it here. Maybe the next time someone wants to whine about housing, they’ll think about what it would feel like to get blasted by a fireball instead.”
Hecht, the self-appointed Head Gamemaker, said his version of the games will combine certain aspects of the movie with sources available to Augustana.
“I don’t know if we’ll be able to swing those birds that sound like crying people,” Hecht said. “We’re planning on just setting out an animal carcass and seeing what it attracts.”
Other possible challenges might include standing downwind from John Morrell’s, walking through the maintenance tunnels or admitting to a fellow student that you don’t attend chapel.
Thirteen majors were chosen at random (although journalism was eventually booted) and sorted according to the likelihood of their tributes winning.
Exercise science and athletic training, which are largely comprised of athletes, garnered the top slots. These teams are nicknamed “The Careers” because training for the games will differ little from their actual program.
“Sports are my life, and this is basically one big game except there are no fouls,” sophomore Dylan Peters said.
Elementary education, sitting in 12th place, has been deemed least likely to win because of its slogan: Everybody wins in education. Nevertheless, junior Amanda Marohl is confident in her major’s chances.
“Everybody wins in education,” Marohl said.
“Everyone does not, in fact, win,” Hecht said. “People will actually die. So …”
Though only one Viking will come out on top, that tribute’s major will also benefit from the victory in the form of funding, according to Oliver. For example, if a biology/chemistry major wins, the prize money will go toward the GSC addition.
“If a humanities kid wins, we’ll give them … oh, I don’t know, what do they like over there? Books? Yeah, we’ll give them books,” Oliver said.
Names will be drawn for the competition at the reaping. One male and one female from each major will be chosen and will be appointed a mentor from that major’s faculty. Dr. Sandra Looney, the anticipated English mentor, advised students to expand their minds for the event.
“Razor-sharp will get you nowhere,” Looney said. “Not unless you also know how to thrust and parry with a pencil.”
The reaping will be held next week.
“Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor,” Hecht said.